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Heartbreak Ridge 13.1 Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Camp Pendleton, California
United States
Hard Corps Race Series
65F / 18C
Total Time = 2h 02m 25s
Overall Rank = 628/1445
Age Group = Women 30-34
Age Group Rank = 17/70
Pre-race routine:

Woke up early and tried to get out the door by 6, but Tracy and I ended up leaving at 6:10. We picked up our mom, then hit Starbucks which seemed ridiculously crowded for early Saturday morning. Headed up to the race site, where we got stuck in an infuriating traffic jam for about half an hour. Finally the jam inexplicably cleared up, and we were able to park 20 minutes before my wave was supposed to start. However, we still had to walk a long way to the race start. Fortunately they were running late, and I managed to get in my port-o-potty stop and put my name down on the list for getting my shirt mailed to me. After a very stressful morning, I was finally able to stand around and calm down for a few minutes before the start.
Event warmup:

After the parking fiasco, my temper was warmed up quite nicely by the time the race started. I also did quite a bit of walking/jogging around between walking from the car and trying to get all of my pre-race tasks done.
  • 2h 02m 25s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 20s  min/mile

One of my not-so-super-secret goals is to run a half marathon in less than 2 hours, but taking into account my recent post-Barb's laziness and Yosemite trip, I was less than optimally trained for this race. My realistic expectation was that I would run this race in 2:0X, which would be a PR for me.

My plan was to run the first half of the race at a pace that straddled the line between comfortable and challenging. I started off perhaps a bit too fast, finishing the first mile in 8:45 and then charging up the big hill, reaching mile 2 at just over 18 minutes. After that my pace dropped, but only slightly. I ran fast on the downhills and conservatively on the uphills. By the turnaround, I was starting to feel it a bit but I was in good spirits and still had plenty of energy. I hit the halfway point at 1:00:48.

Now it's time to rant about the Gatorade situation. I'm fine with a BYO course, but this race advertises "plentiful" (their word) course support with electrolytes. They had aid stations with water at every mile, but I only saw Gatorade at mile 1, 2, 6.5, and 12. That's almost the entire second half of the course with no electrolytes. I was pissed but knew I would be ok and tried not to let it affect my race.

Anyway, after the turnaround my legs were still feeling fine, perhaps a little tight, but I was definitely starting to feel my cardiovascular system lag a bit. I just focused on maintaining a pace I knew I could sustain, and figured I would use the last 5k to see what I had left. I passed a lot of people going up the hills before the long downhill, which made me feel strong, but also made me wonder if I was feeling TOO good, and I questioned whether I should have been going faster earlier in the race. I would soon find out exactly how much I had left in the tank.

With about 2 miles to go, I hit the long downhill, and I took advantage of it and flew down as fast as I could. Fortunately my legs were still feeling limber enough to allow for long strides. After the downhill there was a flat stretch, and once I hit the 12 mile marker at 1:52, I decided it was time to see what I was made of. I picked up the pace and hung on for as long as I could, but with less than a half mile to go I had used up my remaining resources, and had to back down a bit. I still kept up a decent pace, and crossed the finish line running fast but feeling utterly beat down - the way I like to finish!
What would you do differently?:

Take in more calories on the course! Other than that, I think this was a good effort and I can't think of any glaring mistakes.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around with my mom and Tracy for a little bit, drank some Hammer Recoverite, then we made our way back to the car. Lunch at Crazee Burger! Stone Porter never tasted so good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I was definitely not optimally trained for this race. It might have helped a bit to have some calories in my system during the second half. Still, it was a PR for the distance by 7 minutes, and I beat my time from 3 years ago by about 23 minutes, so I'm happy!

Event comments:

Honestly, after the shuttle bus nightmare at the Mud Run I was very reluctant to sign up for another Camp Pendleton race. This experience did not help. The ridiculous parking situation and unacceptable lack of electrolytes are making me not want to do any more of their races. They used to be top notch, and I'm not sure what happened, but unless I hear they've gotten their act together, I'm out. At least I say that now....

Last updated: 2011-05-28 12:00 AM
02:02:25 | 13.1 miles | 09m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 17/70
Overall: 628/1445
Performance: Good
Course: Out-and-back course. It starts off on asphalt, winding through several parking lots before turning off onto the fire road. At the end of mile 2/beginning of mile 3, there's a long, steep uphill. Then it's relatively gentle rolling hills until the turnaround.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-09-10 6:51 PM

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Woodland, California
Subject: Heartbreak Ridge 13.1 Marathon

2011-09-14 5:41 PM
in reply to: #3680532

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Santa Clarita
Subject: RE: Heartbreak Ridge 13.1 Marathon
Nice RR and Congrats on the Big PR !

Another great half to race is the one in santa clarita on nov 5th.

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